Yarning Quiet Ways

Yarning with little ones

Children playing a board game


Sometimes little kids can ask 'big' questions or do things that surprise you. It is normal for you to feel unsure about how to respond. This page gives you some information about what to expect from kids under the age of nine years and some tips that you might find useful to help prepare yourself. 




  • Kids start noticing their genitals
      • There are lots of good books you can read to your kids about their bodies. Check your library or community clinic for books like Everyone's Got a Bottom (Family Planning Queensland, 2007) and It's Not the Stork (Harris and Emberley, 2008).

      • It is good to start using the right names for genitals from a young age. In the English language, boys have a penis and a scrotum with testes. Girls have a vulva (this is the word for the outside parts of a girl's genitals). The inside genitals include the vagina, cervix, uterus and ovaries. There will also be words for these parts in traditional languages. 

      • It is normal for little kids to play with their body, including their genitals. 

      • Tell kids that they shouldn't touch their own genitals in public places. It's a private thing to do. 

      • Tell kids that is never okay for someone else to touch their genitals. Teach them how to say 'no' and where to go for help. 

  • Kids might ask where babies come from
      • You can tell young kids that babies grow in a special place inside the mum called a uterus or womb. You need a sperm (like a seed) from a man and an ovum (tiny egg) from a woman to make a baby. 

      • As kids get older, they may ask for more details. Here is one way of explaining: 

      To make a baby you need a seed (called sperm) from a man's body to join with an egg (called an ovum) in a woman's body. This is how it happens. 

      When two adults feel love they sometimes like to touch each other's bodies. Sometimes they may want to have sex.  

      When a man and woman have sex, the man's penis goes inside the woman's vagina. The penis puts the man's sperm into the woman's body. Sometimes an egg inside the woman joins with a sperm and that might become a baby. 

      The joined egg and sperm go to a place in a woman's body (called the uterus or womb) where it grows. It grows for about nine months (this is called pregnancy). 

      When the baby is ready to be born, the muscles in the uterus and vagina stretch and push the baby out through the woman's vagina. 

  • Kids might start noticing changes in their body
      • Some kids start puberty as early at eight years of age. Start talking to kids about growing up and let them know that their bodies might start to change. 

      • Read the Yarning with Bigger Ones section for more information.  

  • Kids might worry they are different
      • Kids might notice they are different to other boys or girls, or might tease other boys for being 'girly' or girls for being 'tomboys'.

      • Teach kids that there are lots of different ways of being a boy or girl.  

      • Tell them that being different is okay and that being a good person is what matters. 

  • Is there anything else I can do?
      • Making sure that your kids are vaccinated (have injections) for hepatitis B helps to protect them when they're older. Hepatitis B can be passed on through sex and blood. Talk to your health worker, nurse or doctor.